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In This Issue

There's No Place Like Home... Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour

April General Meeting: The Ins and Outs of Heights Alleys

May General Meeting: Heights Kidstuff

Urban Forestry Committee

Fun Run June 4

Constable Notes

February Constable Statistics

Kick Off Party Report

Houston Heights Woman's Club News

Heights Family Serving As Ambassadors For March For Babies

Awards Dinner Report

Citizen Of The Year Award: Linda & Simon Eyles, Danae Stephenson & Martin Piké

Corporate Citizen Award: Republic Services

Marcella Perry Award: Lanna vonBaden

President's Award: Lauriel Hindman

In Memoriam: Bob Pearson

Boulevard Volunteer Award: Christy Stewart

New Generation Award: Andrea Sharp and Elizabeth Poirrier

Community Improvement Awards

Historic District Reconsideration Update (changed since print edition)

New Members



Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Seven, Number Four, April 2011
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
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There’s No Place Like Home…

Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour
April 2 & 3, 2011

Spring is in the air, and it is time to visit some magnificent Houston Heights gardens (as all of ours are recovering from the winter blahs) and homes to get some fresh and creative ideas for our own abodes. This year’s line-up of homes and gardens is diverse and unforgettable.

The Cohen Home at 726 E. 8th Street is a three-story modern design with two view-inspiring balconies, an international collection of arts, crafts, and furnishings, and stunning xeriscape gardens complete with outdoor fireplace, steel water feature, bamboos, vines, and native grasses.

The Bohnn/Green Home at 945 Columbia is a perfect example of a small Heights bungalow transformed to accommodate all of the luxuries of current-day life. The beautiful home is filled with modern and mid-century furnishings and eclectic art, and the gardens are meticulously designed with relaxation and wildlife habitat in mind.

The Willis Home at 711 East 19th Street will be our home tour’s first LEED green building certified house, and the design reflects the homeowners’ desire for clean lines and functional open spaces, including a generous backyard oasis - all perfect for entertaining. This home is filled with an amazing collection of Russian artwork and one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and décor.

The Vaughn Home at 1802 Cortlandt Street is a gardener’s paradise. In addition to the luscious and colorful landscape design, the homeowners cultivate vegetables for their table in special raised gardens. The interior of the home is delightfully filled with vibrant colors, vintage furnishings, and beautiful artwork.

The Sitton Home at 247 West 21st Street reflects the homeowners’ own creative style and years of collecting. It is named “The Bunny Bungalow,” so expect to see antique and vintage bunnies of every imaginable stripe among the couple’s collection of local art and mid-century and Stickley furnishings.

The Eronko/Perez Home at 1401 Herkimer Street is a 1914 Pomona-style bungalow that has been meticulously restored by Bungalow Revival using reclaimed and handpicked materials and antique, period-style fixtures. The old-world-style interior design and artwork are indicative of the homeowners’ own design business.

The Immanuel Lutheran Church at 15th and Cortlandt Streets - saved from demolition by the congregation and a group of community leaders - will open its doors for a sneak peak at the “before” version of this 1930s German architectural jewel, prior to being transformed into a community center, expected to host art exhibits, receptions, theatre performances, and youth services. Drawings and 3-D renditions by the project’s architects will be on hand.

Tickets on the days of the tour will be $25 each, $20 for bicycle riders, and $5 for a single home. You may purchase your tickets during tour hours at each of the homes, by check or cash only, and at the Heights Fire Station, which will also accept credit cards. For more information, please click here, call 713-861-4002 extension 3, or e-mail

April General Meeting

The Ins and Outs of Heights Alleys

A panel of City personnel will be attending the April 11 meeting to inform and educate homeowners in the Heights community about their alleys, the history of their usage, and the alley ordinance as it applies to Heights alleys.

Heights residents have asked questions and sent concerns to Council Member Ed Gonzalez, City Council District H office concerning alley issues. The panel will discuss the following topics:

  • Proper procedure to obtain alley access to a residential garage
  • Education on how to get required approval
  • What type of plan is required to be submitted by an Engineer and when this is required
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the alley
  • What to do when access is blocked, either for years or by a new fence, etc.
  • What is legal to do in an alley, and who enforces encroachment violations
  • Examples of alleys that have been developed correctly.

You may submit additional questions prior to the meeting to Laura Thorp, Community Liaison for the Greater Heights, District H: or 832-393-3231.

Come prepared to be informed. That’s Monday, April 11, 7:00 PM at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station, at the corner of Yale and 12th Streets. See you there!

May General Meeting

Heights Kidstuff: After School & Vacation Programs

Get great information for summer or after-school programs for families and kids of all ages (young, elementary, middle school, pre-teens, or teens)! Great opportunities for learning and play abound in and near our neighborhood. Meet the folks from HITS, Stages, the Heights Library, Scouts, Outdoor Nature programs, and more.

Doors open at 6:30 PM on May 9 at the HHA Fire Station at 12th & Yale. The program commences with HHA President Bill Baldwin at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited for refreshments and to mix and mingle.

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2011 Platinum sponsor:

Republic Services

HHA Urban Forestry Committee

Living in Tandem with Trees

Since 2005, the HHA Urban Forestry Committee has been celebrating our neighborhood’s unique Urban Forest of mature trees and native plant gardens - habitat for migratory birds, native wildlife, and neighbors! Over the past two years, on the first Tuesday of the month, Heights neighbors with wonderful gardens and/or great trees have opened their garden gates for special garden tours.

On Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 PM, you are invited to a tour of the Great Tree at 538 Arlington and to learn about the new home that has been designed on the site. Meet the owners, the architect, and the tree consultant. Everyone is invited!

For about three years Gary Rodriguez and Mike Ball drove by an empty lot at 538 Arlington in the Heights, and they were amazed at the size of the majestic live oak (Quercus virginiana) that was the focal point on the south side of the lot. They had many discussions over the three-year period about purchasing the lot and building a house that would showcase the tree. In January 2010, Mike and Gary decided to investigate building a house on the lot. During their investigation, they found that the tree is listed on the Harris County Tree Registry and was recorded to be 68 feet tall with a 192-foot circumference and a crown spread of 106 feet.

Mike and Gary had seen several homes built by Solution Builders, LLC in the surrounding Heights area and were enticed to meet with them because they were a green homes builder. Mike says, “We assumed a green homebuilder would share in our vision to protect the tree and create a home that made the tree the central focus. Dara Childs and Wolfgang Pfirrmann, the Solution Builders team, worked with us to design our home to minimize any impact to the tree.

“In February 2010 we consulted with Embark Tree and Landscape Services about the potential impact of building a home on the lot. Matt Hancock met with us at the lot, and we discussed our plans to build a pier and beam home. We expressed to Matt that our principal concern was not to damage the tree with our proposed plan.” Gary and Mike had already decided that if a home could not be built without damage to the tree, they would scrap their plans and not purchase the lot. Matt said that a pier and beam foundation was better than a slab, and he suggested that any digging on the lot should be confined as much as possible to the north side of the lot.

In June 2010, Gary and Mike closed on their lot and construction loan. Shortly before construction started, Embark trimmed the tree of any dead limbs and aerated the lot.

Solution Builders started construction on January 4. The first phase of construction included drilling seven 300-foot vertical holes for geothermal heating/cooling. The drilling team was very conscientious about not disturbing any of the tree roots. They actually moved one of the drill sites to avoid a root. They also hand dug (rather than machine dug) a trench to collate the geothermal loops from the alley to the front of the lot. Whenever they encountered a tree root, they carefully dug around it so as not to cut it.

Once the geothermal drilling completed, Solution Builders installed a retaining fence around the tree to keep debris and traffic off of the roots. The foundation crew was also very cognizant of the tree roots. They had to move a couple of piers to avoid the roots.

Since this project started, every contractor has been extremely diligent about the tree. Gary and Mike have been very happy with the extra effort Solution Builders have gone to ensure protection for the tree.

For more information about the Urban Forestry Committee, please click here. For the Harris County Tree Registry, view this PDF file. For Solution Builders, LLC, visit For Embark Tree and Landscape Services, visit

Fun Run June 4

Lace up your running shoes! The Houston Heights Association Fun Run is coming up on June 4. It’s a fast and exciting race along our famous boulevard, and you won’t want to miss it. Check the HHA website for more details about how you can register as we get closer to the date.

Not a runner? Looking for an exciting way to support the Houston Heights Association? Volunteer to help with the Fun Run! If you would like to be a part of it, please e-mail or call 713-861-4002 and leave a message on extension 4. We’d love to have you!

Constable Notes

Constable yard signs are available. If you are a constable subscriber, then you can pick up signs at the next Houston Heights Association general meeting or email heightspatrol@ for other pickup options. If you are not a subscriber and would like to sign up, we are now offering a nine-month subscription that runs from April through December for $230.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a subscriber, then click here to subscribe by credit card or send a check with your address and telephone number to HHA Constable Patrol, P.O Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735.

February Statistics

Total Arrests 0
Citizen Assists 2
Citizen Contacts 124
Vacation Watches 145
Court Citations 34
Alarm Responses 13
Suspicious Vehicles 47
Park Checks 122
Disturbances 7
Major Accidents 0
Criminal Offenses 1
Miles patrolled 2,581

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2011 Silver Sponsors:

Rita & Jerred Blanchard CenterPoint Energy\ Anne & Ken Culotta
UBS: Richard Markey Buchanan's Native Plants John Palmer Art
eclectic Home Lucas Craftsmanship Inc. Phil's Texas Barbecue

2011 Kick Off Party Report

The 2011 Kick Off Party for the Houston Heights Spring Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction was held at Phils Texas Barbecue recently. A record 30 tables for the Candlelight Dinner were presold at the packed event, which included 2011 sponsors, the home tour executive committee, homeowners, head docents, and last years Candlelight Dinner table hosts.

The red-cowboy-boot-wearing guests snacked on delicious hors doeuvres provided by Phils Texas Barbecue and sipped beers donated by Twisted Pine Brewing Company. Beautiful floral decorations and attendee gifts were generously given by Buchanans Native Plants.

Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, and Denise Martin - co-chairs of the 2011 Home & Garden Tour - thanked their hard-working committee and showed off some of the exciting auction items that will be up for grabs at the Candlelight Dinner & Auction to be held on April 1. The crowd mingled late into the evening, a sure sign that the Candlelight Dinner & Auction are off to a great start!

Houston Heights Woman’s Club News

The Houston Heights Woman’s Club (HHWC) has started 2011 off with a new slate of officers:

  • President: Hillary Parr Cobb
  • First Vice President: Shea Sandefer Hill
  • Second Vice President: Amydell Beardshall
  • Treasurer: Linda Cannon
  • Recording Secretary: Sharon Balke
  • Corresponding Secretary: Robin Swinney
  • Historian: Ann Gay
  • Parliamentarian: Gail Rosenthal
  • At-Large Board Members: Melvaline Cohen, Debbie Cranford, and Laura Potter

Upcoming events:

The evening group of HHWC kicks off April with their General Meeting on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM at the HHWC Clubhouse, located at 1846 Harvard. Members, please plan to attend.

The next event will be the Literary Club meeting at the HHWC Clubhouse, on Thursday, April 14 at 7:00 PM. The book selection is The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffery Toobin. Jere Pfister will lead discussion of the book.

The final scheduled event in April will be the quarterly Cork and Fork, which will be held at the HHWC Clubhouse on Saturday, April 16, from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM. The theme will be Cinco de Mayo; Debbie Cranford and Robin Swinney will host. The Cork and Fork is open to members, their guests, and prospective members. There is no cost to attend, aside from a dish to pass and a bottle of wine to share. Besides good food, good wine, and good conversation, the Cork and Fork introduces the host(s), HHWC members, and guests (spouses and potential members) to new wine and food based on a theme or region in a casual atmosphere.

Heights Family Serving As Ambassadors For March For Babies

For Heights residents Loriana Morris and Jake Decker, having twin boys was twice the joy but also double the worry and fear when Loriana was diagnosed with Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome at 24 weeks and started an arduous journey to keep her babies medically safe. At 33 weeks, Wesley and Gabriel were born but faced weeks in the NICU. The family now enjoys every moment with their bright, active twin boys and daughter Jocelyn. They are serving as Houston’s 2011 March for Babies Ambassador Family to help raise awareness about the lifesaving research and support of the March of Dimes. To join or start a walk team, visit March for Babies will be held May 1, with opening ceremonies at 8:00 AM, and the five-mile walk at 9:00 AM at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium.

New Members

Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.

A-OK Mini Storage, Tracey Freezia

Joyce Ballenger

Jacquelyn Barish

Josh & Steven Brockman-Weber

Chris & Christine Campbell

Chris & Amy Cole

Catherine Coon & Nicholas Purday

Greenleaf Gardening Services

Lori Hudgins

Jennifer Junger

Heide Leighty

Linda Eyles Design

Gianni Mallarino

Jennifer Naae & Matt Albanese

Nicole & Raul Quiros

Susie Rosmarin


Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.

Jennifer Barringer & Derrick Vallance - Boulevard

Chris & Christine Campbell

Charles & Vicki Cunningham - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, and Fire Station Endowment Fund

GDF Suez Energy North America, Inc. (matching gift of Keith Crane & Kelly Simmons)

Charles Krenzler - Boulevard

Debbie Mueller & Bob Singleton - Parks

Nicole & Raul Quiros

Gail Rosenthal - Fire Station Endowment Fund

Texas State Optical, Aurea Rivera, O.D. - Boulevard

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2011 Bronze Sponsors:

Allegiance Bank Texas Bob Alban Design & Ideas Boulevard Realty
Bungalow Revival Caldwell Banker United Realtors EEPB P.C.
Heights Liquor on 11th Jubilee PrimeWay Federal Credit Union
Chris Silkwood Mosaics Art Design spring street studios Tommy Vaughn Ford

Awards Dinner

The 37th Annual HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner was held on Sunday, February 27 at the Heights Fire Station. The upstairs meeting room became a glittering silver and gold dining room courtesy of Angela DeWree of Design and Inspiration. Anne Culotta acted as both emcee and past President, amusing everybody with her opening and closing remarks, handing out some awards herself, and introducing other presenters: Bill Baldwin, Diane Easley, Chris Silkwood, Paul Carr, Kelly Simmons, Jim Bennett, and Anne Sloan. Many of their presentations appear on the following pages.

Anne Culotta also headed the committee that arranged the event: Diane Easley, Community Improvement Awards Chair; Angela DeWree, event décor and programs; Keith Crane, CIA PowerPoint presentation; Donna Bennett, Jeff Cox, Anne Culotta, and Amber Lewis, CIA judges; Anne Sloan, volunteer election and awards coordinator; and Bill Baldwin, 2011 President. Massoud’s Catering provided the culinary delights for the evening.

That’s a wrap!

Citizen Of The Year Award:
Linda & Simon Eyles, Danae Stephenson & Martin Piké

Presentation speech by Anne Sloan, 2009 Citizen of the Year

Good evening! Gold and Silver - The Old and the New. And isn’t that our mantra in Houston Heights? The combination of our old and our new homes, our old-timers like Paul, Melvalene, Bart, and the Thorps, the Dupuis, and so many others who welcome the newcomers. That is what Houston Heights is all about.

I am proud to be here this evening to tell you once again how honored I am to have been selected Citizen of the Year for 2009. But now, it is time to reveal the Citizen of the Year for 2010!

For almost fifteen years, the recipients have made a serious commitment to serving the Houston Heights. Their volunteer efforts include: serving as Head Docent every year, featuring their own home on the home tours, twice chairing the Candlelight Dinner, working on the Fun Run and the Bike Rally, working with Jim Bennett and Paul Carr on Boulevard and Park Maintenance, and supporting the Candlelight Dinner Auction with significant donations and purchases.

This year’s recipients have demonstrated again and again a commitment to HHA and to our neighborhood with hours of behind-the-scenes work as well as their leadership roles.

I give you the Citizen of the Year for 2010 - In a total break with tradition, the committee selected two couples who have again and again pooled their talents and resources to work as a team to accomplish all of the important achievements listed above: Linda & Simon Eyles and Danae Stephenson & Martin Piké.

Corporate Citizen Award: Republic Services

Presentation Speech by Chris Silkwood

The Corporate Citizen Award is given to an organization that has repeatedly given through financial donations or in-kind services to the Houston Heights Association.

This year’s recipient is Republic Services, who has been a Platinum Sponsor of HHA for four years, which began first with Allied Waste.

Republic Services has not only provided the HHA with huge financial support but also with their “What would we do without these?” luxury restrooms for Candlelight Dinners, trash containers and port-o-cans for Fun Runs and numerous other events. And for those contributions, by God, we are immensely grateful.

So now, I’m going to stray from the political correctness of thanking the corporation to, with heartfelt gratitude, thanking the man behind all of that generosity. The man is Chris Synek. Chris has been the captain all along, which also includes incredible sports packages to the Candlelight Dinner auction, fantastic wine-tasting dinners hosted by Chris and his glorious wife, Kristi, that have raised over $12,000. For those of us who can actually remember those evenings, the wine was damn good.

Chris has recently received a major promotion with Republic Services, and the family will be moving to their corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Through Chris’s never-ending generosity and love of the Heights, he has pledged to be a Platinum Sponsor again for the year 2012.

Let’s stand together to toast this very special man, our neighbor, our dear friend, a husband and devoted father. To his wife Kristi, a brilliant woman, major volunteer, wife and mother. And to their children, Luke and Olivia. They will all be sorely missed.

[File photo]

Marcella Perry Award: Lanna vonBaden

Annually, the Marcella Perry Award is presented to a recipient who supports the Heights Association and its causes in a behind-the-scenes fashion. This year’s recipient is Lanna vonBaden.

Lanna just finished a three-year term on the HHA Board, but her contributions extend way beyond that. She has been a tireless volunteer for all of the fund-raising events and helped plan the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for many years. She went above and beyond this year when she took the reins of the Constable Patrol Program and continues to work tirelessly to develop that very important security project. Her business, Grogan’s Building Supply, was a Bronze Sponsor for all four seasons in 2009, and a Bronze Sponsor for two seasons in 2010.

The annual award was established to honor Heightsites who work quietly and consistently in the background for the betterment of the Heights. Former Citizen of the Year recipients select the Marcella Perry winner each year. Paul Carr, who established the award, announced the honoree at the Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner.

The name of the award honors Marcella Donovan Perry (1907-1999), a founder, Director, and long-time supporter of the Houston Heights Association who worked quietly in the background making things happen for the neighborhood. Her father, James G. Donovan, was City Attorney for Houston Heights when it merged with the city of Houston in 1918. Donovan Park on Heights Boulevard, home of the Heights Playground, was named for him.

[File photo]

President’s Award: Lauriel Hindman

Presentation by Anne Culotta, 2010 President

The President’s Award is given by the outgoing President of the Association to an individual without whom said President could not have managed. It is a personal acknowledgment of a deep debt of gratitude for constant support and guidance. At least in my case it is, because without Lauriel Hindman I would have floundered in my ignorance, absent-mindedness, and miserable typing skills. And, even more importantly, I wouldn’t have had half as much fun!

Lauriel, please accept this award from me to you as Business Manager extraordinaire, she-who-knows-all, the ever diligent, always discreet, best friend in the bunker. Thanks for always having my back!

In Memoriam: Bob Pearson

Presentation by Anne Culotta, 2010 President

No awards show would be complete without a tribute to those we lost over the past year. Bill has already mentioned Mrs. Worthington; I would like to remember Bob Pearson. Bob was a friend to many of us here tonight, and he was a character in his own right. He volunteered for the Houston Heights Association for many, many years, performing thankless tasks like locking and unlocking the playground at Donovan Park and overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the Fire Station.

His memory is so tied to this fine old building, I hope Bob would be pleased to see the plaque that has been placed downstairs in honor of his many years of service to the community. May he rest in peace.

[For more information about Bob, please see our July 2010 issue. For more information about Mrs. Worthington, please see our February 2011 issue.]

[File photo]

Boulevard Volunteer Award: Christy Stewart

Presentation speech by Jim Bennett, Boulevard Chair

The Boulevard Volunteer Award is given out in those years when someone has gone way beyond the call of duty. This year, Christy Stewart had done just that, and we want to recognize her hard work. As many of you know, Christy has taken care of the Rose Garden on Heights Boulevard since late 2009. Anyone who has worked in a volunteer organization will appreciate these things about Christy’s efforts:

• Christy is a volunteer, not a recruit. When she heard that help was needed, Christy stepped forward and said, “I can do that.”

• Christy took charge and got the job done - she did the planning, she acquired all needed materials, she recruited the help she needed.

• Christy followed through with continuous maintenance - not just the upfront splash, but also the continued week-in and week-out effort required to keep things looking great.

Right now, Christy is taking time out from the Rose Garden, since she and her husband Matt just became the proud parents of Elliott Townes Stewart in December. Pat Hall, Stacey Courville, and Shawn Michael are taking up the slack, so you’ll see that the Rose Garden has been stripped back and fresh plantings are about to be put in place.

Christy, please come up and accept this award for your many months of hard work at the Rose Garden!

New Generation Award: Andrea Sharp and Elizabeth Poirrier

Presentation by Kelly Simmons

The New Generation Award is given to individuals who have come onto the scene relatively recently and who have risen through the volunteer ranks to leadership positions very quickly. We have seen in these individuals the promise of a long-term relationship with the Houston Heights Association and a valuable asset to the community.

This year, we decided to present two individuals with the New Generation Award.

Andrea Sharp

This person served on the Auction Committee in 2008 and Chaired the Auction in 2009. She helped on the Auction again the following year by managing the massive spreadsheet of donors and auction items. She chaired the Heights Fun Run in 2010, which broke all previous income records. She is co-chairing - along with Christine Spin - this year’s Holiday Home Tour Patron Party. She has continually stepped up to the plate when asked to volunteer and has demonstrated time after time that she has the leadership skills to guide these very important fundraising events. She is currently serving on HHA’s Board of Directors. Don’t let her size fool ya - she manages around 300 personnel - mostly men - for a downtown security firm.

I am proud to present Andrea Sharp with the 2010 New Generation Award.

[Andrea was not present. Her husband accepted for her. -Editor]

Elizabeth Poirrier

As a lot of us do, this person started out by allowing the HHA to show her home on the Holiday Home Tour in 2009. That same year, she jumped right in and - working mostly behind the scenes - was instrumental in the success of the Holiday Home Tour. The following year - last year - she Chaired the Holiday Home Tour to a record-breaking success. There are a couple of interesting common denominators among all of the present and past New Generation Award Recipients: They’re all adorable and all have impressive shoe collections.

I am honored to award Elizabeth Poirrier with the 2010 New Generation Award.

Community Improvement Awards

by Diane Easley, CIA Chair

The Houston Heights Association 2011 Community Improvement Awards were presented Sunday, February 27, for residential and commercial projects contributing to the improvement of the Heights.

For Commercial New Construction projects, the two nominees were Advanta Health Professionals at 1302 North Shepherd and Allegiance Bank at 2222 North Durham. The winning improvement is Allegiance Bank at 2222 North Durham, managed by President Scott Lester. This project was nominated by Mike Easley, designed by McCleary German Architects, and built by U. S. Builders. Thanks to Allegiance Bank for being an HHA sponsor as well.

For Commercial Restoration projects, the two nominees were Zelko Bistro at 705 East 11th Street, owned by Jamie Zelko, and Jenni’s Noodles at 602 East 20th Street, owned by Jenni and Scott Tranweaver. We are lucky to have these two new restaurants in the Heights. The winning improvement is Zelko Bistro at 705 East 11th Street. This project was nominated by Anne Culotta, designed by James and Jamie Zelko, and built by Zelko Brothers Cabinet & Fixture Company.

In the Residential New Construction category, the two nominees were Trinh and Eugene Kuo’s home at 1222 Allston and Michael and Laura Czapski’s home at 2020 Arlington. The winning improvement is Trinh and Eugene Kuo’s home at 1222 Allston. This project was nominated by Ralph and Mary Ellis, designed by Greg Swedberg with 2Scale Architects, and built by Allegro Builders.

In the Residential Restoration category, the two nominees were Patrice and Jason Childress’ home at 730 Columbia and Danae Stephenson and Martin Piké’s home at 1233 Tulane. The winning improvement is Patrice and Jason Childress’ home at 730 Columbia, nominated by Gail Schorre, designed by Morningside Architects, and built by Lucas Craftsmanship.

A special “Heights Gateway Award” was presented to Phil’s Texas Barbecue for their transformation of the former muffler shop into a restaurant at 110 South Heights Boulevard, leading into Houston Heights. Thanks to Phil’s for being an HHA sponsor, as well.

Congratulations to all nominees and thank you for improving the Heights. Special thanks to our CIA committee: Judges Donna Bennett, Jeff Cox, Anne Culotta, and Amber Lewis; PowerPoint presentation by Keith Crane; AV Team Keith Crane, Ken Culotta, and Mike Easley. Thanks also to Anne Culotta and Donna Bennett for donating seats for the nominees, and thanks to Laura Pineda for help with set-up. [Finally, thanks to Diane for coordinating them all again this year. -Editor]

Be on the lookout for next year’s nominees!

Historic District Reconsideration Update

On October 13, Houston City Council passed amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance and a transition process to the new ordinance. From October 18 through November 17, property owners in an existing or pending historic district could request reconsideration of their district.

In seven historic districts, the owners of 10% or more of the tracts asked for their districts to be reconsidered. The City mailed to all property owners in those districts an announcement of a public meeting and forms to be mailed back by any owners wanting to repeal their districts.

At the February 23 City Council meeting, the Director of Planning & Development formally presented reports with survey results and recommendations on the six existing historic districts that underwent reconsideration, including Houston Heights East and West and Norhill. Her reports indicated that no district had reached the threshold for dissolution and that surveys requesting repeal of district designation were dispersed throughout each district. Her recommendation was that Council take no action with regard to the designation of five of the six districts (that is, leave them intact) and that Council amend the boundaries of First Montrose Commons to exclude one tract at a corner of the district, which had been included unintentionally.

At the March 2 meeting, Director Gafrick presented reports on the three pending districts (Houston Heights South, Woodland Heights, and Glenbrook Valley). She recommended designation of all three as historic districts, with changes to the boundaries of the first two.

The recommendations on the six existing districts were on the agenda for the March 9 Council meeting, but the item was tagged (deferred until the next meeting). Council was not scheduled to meet the following week. At press time, the earliest Council could take up the issue again is March 23.

Copies of the formal reports on the six existing districts and the three pending districts (with maps of survey results and the Director’s recommendations for City Council action) are now available on the City Planning Department site here along with the amended Historic Preservation Ordinance and the transition ordinance. We hope that further information on the reconsideration process will be posted there as it becomes available.

Changes Since The Print Edition

At its March 23 meeting, City Council accepted the Planning Director’s report on Avondale West, Boulevard Oaks, First Montrose Commons, and Norhill; these districts were confirmed with only the previously mentioned minor change to the boundaries of First Montrose Commons. Council voted 8-7 against accepting the Director’s report on Houston Heights East and Houston Heights West. These two districts were referred back to the administration.

The three pending historic districts have not yet come before City Council as of the time this was written. Until they do, they remain covered by the Historic Protection Ordinance, as do Houston Heights East and West.

Calendar of Events for April-May 2011













Candlelight Dinner and Auction


Spring Home & Garden Tour, 12:00 - 6:00 PM


Spring Home & Garden Tour, 12:00 - 6:00 PM


HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Deadline for next newsletter

Urban Forestry, 6:30 PM, 538 Arlington


7 - garbage






HHA General Meeting, “Alley Issues,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


14 - garbage and recycling





HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

21 - garbage

San Jacinto Day


Earth Day



Easter Sunday


HHA Education, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



28 - garbage and recycling



May 1


HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



5 - garbage

Cinco de Mayo

Deadline for next newsletter




Mother’s Day


HHA General Meeting, “Kidstuff,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



12 - garbage and recycling





HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


19 - garbage





HHA Education, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

26 - garbage and recycling





Memorial Day


June 1

2 - garbage



Heights Fun Run

HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse will be closing soon. See for details.

Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.

March 31 through April 2, Opera in the Heights presents Bizet’s Pearl Fishers at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit

April 2, 7:30 PM, Health Care for All Texas presents Jim Post in his one-man show “Mark Twain and the Laughing River” at Live Oak Friends Meeting Hall, 1318 W. 26th St. For information or to buy tickets, please visit

April 7-9 and 14-16, 8:00 PM, HITS Theatre presents “Hairspray” at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. For more details, call the Miller box office at 281-FREE-FUN.

April 16 through May 1, 2:00 PM, UpStage Theatre presents “Too Many Beagles” at Miller Outdoor Theater, saluting and benefitting rescue organizations. For more information or tickets, call 713-838-9171 or visit

Heavy Trash Notes

April is a “Junk Waste” month; May is a “Tree Waste Only” month. For dates in your area and more information, click here.

Future History

October 2, Bicycle Rally

December 2-3, Holiday Home Tour

December 5-7, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery


February 26, Awards Dinner

April 5-7, Spring Home Tour

June 2, Heights Fun Run

At The Fire Station

Events at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station, 12th and Yale

The second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and the last Monday of the month, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.

The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.

Copyright © 2011, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.

Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:

Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735;

email; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.

Staff and Contributors

Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

April contributors:

Jim Bennett, Paul Carr, John Henry Childs, Anne Culotta, Angela DeWree, Diane Easley, Linda Eyles, Lauriel Hindman, John Ridgway, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, Anne Sloan, Robin Swinney, Laura Thorp, Lanna vonBaden.

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